Mindful listening is a form of deep listening which encompasses listening with our whole body. Many of us, without realising it, don’t listen fully. We tend to think about what we are going to say next. We make judgements. We offer solutions. And sometimes we try to divert the conversation onto something we want to talk about.
We all want to feel heard. When someone truly listens it validates our feelings, it demonstrates genuine caring and interest. It helps us feel okay about who we are and what we are experiencing in a way that offering someone a solution rarely does.Read More →
A martial artist once asked Bruce Lee, to teach him all that he knew about martial arts. Bruce held up two cups both filled with liquid and said, “The first cup represents all of your knowledge about martial arts. The second cup represents all of my knowledge about martial arts. If you want to fill your cup with my knowledge, you must first empty your cup of your knowledge.”
To create a life you love, find solutions to problems or discover what your life calling is you need to ’empty your cup’ by quietening the left hemisphere of your brain. The left hemisphere is the logical, analytical part of the brain that processes information sequentially. Give this part of your brain a problem and it will work on finding a practical solution for you. The brain is a wonderful tool, however, if you don’t know what you want, or you don’t know how to create what you want, logic, reason and analysis can have you going around and around in circles. This can lead to feelings of frustration or uncertainty and that’s when it sometimes gets too hard and we settle for what is.Read More →
I feel like mindfulness is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. Especially mindfulness for kids: everyone wants in on the action! And while it seems to have popped up everywhere in the last few years, it’s something that has actually been around for thousands of years – often as part of religious and cultural practices.
Psychologists have been talking about – and practicing – mindfulness for many years too. I first learned about mindfulness back when I was a very new intern psychologist doing a work placement at a private hospital in Sydney. I remember thinking that it was hard! Hard to explain and hard to do! I’d never heard of anything like it or done anything like it before.Read More →
Let’s talk about mindfulness for teens. I’ve written before about teaching mindfulness to kids, but what about the door slamming, eye rolling, hormone fuelled inhabitants of our homes and classrooms? How can we teach teenagers mindfulness? Is it much different to teaching children? And how do we convince them to actually try it?
Mindfulness – the act of paying attention to the present moment in a non judgmental way – can be a particularly useful strategy for managing stress and anxiety.
Part of learning about mindfulness is understanding that thoughts are “just thoughts”. Just the chatter of our brains, and not necessarily good, or bad, or right or wrong. Not even necessarily true or accurate. Just thoughts. And that constant flow of thoughts that we all have? That’s just what minds do.Read More →
If you’re reading this blog post, I’m guessing you’re at least a little bit interested in mindfulness for kids. Maybe you’re wanting to teach mindfulness to your kids. Or maybe you want to expand on your practice a little bit and add a few more tools to your arsenal. But I’m also guessing that your kids are pretty similar to mine, and sitting down to quietly meditate for 30 minutes (or even 10 minutes!) every day is not their idea of a good time. But do they like craft? Are you nodding right now? Awesome! What about mindfulness crafts?
You see, the great thing about mindfulness, is that is doesn’t have to involve quiet meditation at all. In fact, when teaching mindfulness to kids, we want to make it as fun as possible! Mindfulness for kids can be active, and noisy, and messy. And it works best when we incorporate all of their senses and really make it a whole body experience for them. Which is why craft is a great way to practice mindfulness with your kids.Read More →
Mindfulness for toddlers is something I get asked about often. In fact, some variation of, “How do I teach my toddler/baby/preschooler mindfulness?” is probably one of the most frequently asked questions I receive. And it always makes me smile a little. Not because there’s anything wrong with the question – I happen to think it’s a great question. But I also happen to think we’re asking it the wrong way around!
Because toddlers actually have a lot to teach us about mindfulness. We’re often just too busy to pay attention to the lesson.
You see, toddlers are naturally pretty mindful already. Sure, mindfulness for toddlers looks different to mindfulness for adults, or even for older children. But if you’ve spent any amount of time with one recently, then you’ve likely already witnessed their mindfulness in action. You’d know that they’re curious, and they love to explore everything. That they like to take their time, savour experiences, feel emotions fully (and with passion!), and they notice everything (even when you don’t want them to). They delight in the simple things and living in the moment is the only thing they know how to do.Read More →
This week is Mental Health Week here in Australia. And on October 10, we celebrate World Mental Health Day. This is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of mental health issues and reducing the stigma associated with these debilitating illnesses.
Mental health, but particularly youth mental health, is something I’m very passionate about. My entire career as a psychologist has been spent working in mental health. I have seen first hand, the damage mental illness can have on young people and their families.
But I have also seen the positive relationship between mindfulness and mental health. I’ve seen the powerful effects of mindfulness. And the research agrees with me. Mindfulness build healthy minds. Which is of course, why I started Mindful Little Minds! I believe that teaching kids mindfulness skills can have a hugely beneficial impact on rates of mental illness in children and can drastically improve their mental wellbeing.
So just in case you need more reasons to practice mindfulness with your kids, here are 6 ways mindfulness can protect, support, and improve your child’s mental health.Read More →